Menstruation can hurt like a heart attack. It is intense, dizzying, invasive, stinging, monstrous, extensive and exasperating pain. This is certainly not a rare or unusual episode, on the contrary, the vast majority of women have suffered from it at a certain period of life and some even every month.
Television presents us with the reality of menstruation as a microworld full of laughter, clouds, wonderful smells and joy. Despite this, this does not at all resemble the reality of any woman and, even less, that of the 50% who suffer from this combination of pain, discomfort and discomfort.
Advertising, and society in general, strive to silence the pain associated with this time of the month and the discomfort that we women suffer these days. Despite this, our punishment does not just show us the unreality of menstruation as “a wonderland of roses and flowers”, but we also have to face all those who claim that “in those days, women are in a bad mood”. Two sides of the same coin.
We are not in a bad mood, we are blessed: fighting prejudice
Over time, the concept has spread that having menstruation makes women “intractable” and in a bad mood, almost as if menstruating is a disease. Nevertheless, just as Christiane Northrup points out, it is not right to cancel the association that exists between the cycle and what allows us to have it, that is, our blessed and natural ability to conceive life.
Some more and some less, moreover, we have all had to suffer the sarcasm of those who do not understand it, as the only response to the pain and malaise triggered by the cycle. Yet, no doubt, no one would ever think of making fun of someone’s pain if it was caused by colic or a heart attack .
The fact that it is a “female pain” in a scientific world which, in history, has been predominantly composed of men and with a male-dominated point of view, has made it difficult to understand the need to study this aspect of the female body.
on the pain that accompanies the onset of menstruation and which is prolonged during this period, albeit with less and less intensity.
This pain and the set of symptoms accompanying menstruation are associated with the ovulatory cycle and respond to an interrelation between physiological and psychosocial factors. In case there is no physical damage that explains it (
), this set of symptoms is called primary dysmenorrhea.
Symptoms, although variable and different, can be the following:
- Abdominal pain.
- Back pain, especially in the lower back.
- Cramps in the abdominal and lumbar area.
- Leg pains, especially severe in the thighs.
- General, dizzying and continuous malaise.
- Headache and weakness.
- Nausea, vomiting and lack of appetite.
- Abdominal edema.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Chest pain.
- Dysphoric feelings.
- Spots on the face and acne.
Since the negative symptoms associated with menstruation are so diverse, it is difficult to define in a general and clear way what they imply, without falling into contradictions. Despite this, it is necessary to make it clear that these symptoms are real and that some women are really sick these days.
Dysphoric symptoms: sadness and irritability before and during menstruation
During the days preceding menstruation, as well as during the first days of the cycle, the woman suffers from great hormonal changes that can trigger, in addition to severe pain, also a mood of deep sadness, instability and irritability. These symptoms, far from pathological, are normal and very common (although some views claim they are pathological).
For this reason, from the point of view of the mood it is possible to try:
- Mood Swings: It is normal to feel sad or cry and be more sensitive to rejection.
- Intense irritability and anger: this contributes to the emergence of conflicts.
- Feeling of despondency and ideas of self-contempt.
- Anxiety, tension or an intense feeling of being on the edge of your skin.
- The interest in things that, at other times, catch our attention decreases.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Long sleep, fatigue or lack of energy.
- Need to sleep a lot or inability to sleep.
- Intense feeling of tiredness and of having nothing under control.
This is another reason for ridicule, which is really shocking: “how do you see you have your things”; “Menstruation should be called monsters because they turn you into a monster”; “Let’s talk when your period is over”, etc.
What woman has never received such a comment? Not just from men, but also from other women who don’t understand it or have little tact. It is important to pay attention to this, because it feeds stereotypes about menstruation and malaise and, at the same time, does not help to find relief from the hassles of those days.
When we find ourselves facing these symptoms, it is important to know that the best way to combat them is to relax, because it helps not to think too much about the pain and to bear the problems that accompany this period of the month with less suffering.
Remember, therefore, that these problems can arise and that knowing and sharing them helps us to normalize the changes and annoyances that women experience every month. We remember that we are like hormonal boats that sometimes sail in the midst of the storm and others with the flat sea . Understanding this is not just a female problem.